A recent study of people with HIV who use recreational drugs isn’t good news for tweakers: those who used crystal meth showed troubling blood test results as compared to those who used other drugs.
The study by the University of San Diego examined gay drug users who were HIV positive, including guys who used meth, cocaine, pot, alcohol and various other party drugs. All of them were on effective treatment and had low levels of virus in their blood.
But the similarities ended there. Meth users had lower t-cell counts (a number that gauges the health of the immune system) and more measurable HIV in their semen. Good T-cell counts are seen as critical to long term health with HIV. It isn’t yet clear if the amount of HIV in semen means the person is more infectious. The one-year study defined meth use as at least one reported use during the study period.